When does exterior painting start?

Peintre sur un toit de maison en train de peinturer le revêtement extérieur

People often ask us when it’s possible to start exterior painting jobs. Actually, given the very unstable weather we have here in Quebec, we can’t determine in advance a precise date on which exterior painting can be done without worrying. The real question is at what temperature we can paint.

Peintre commercial avec un casque orange appliquant de la peinture avec un rouleau à main

At what temperature can we paint outside?

Graph showing the maximal and minimal temperatures for using exterior paintThe first thing to do is to read carefully the product label of the paint you want to use. Normally, you should find the recommended application minimum and maximum temperatures. Thanks to the industry innovations of the two last decades, there are now on the market numerous exterior paints that allow us an application at a temperature as low as 4 ⁰C.

Then, we have to know that the surface temperature of the substrate is not necessarily the same as the ambient air temperature. This is true surtout for metal surfaces: those are much colder during frost and much hotter during a heat wave. The best way of knowing your substrate temperature is with a laser thermometer. This way, we can ensure the paint adheres well during winter and that it won’t peel in summer.

Can we paint below 4 ⁰C?

When the job is urgent and Mother Nature won’t collaborate, we suggest our clients to install an exterior heating system, under a tarpaulin that has been annexed to the surface to be painted. Even though this option asks for a longer preparation time, it’s sometimes preferred by our clients as they have the satisfaction to see their maintenance jobs get started before the nice weather arrives. By checking the surface temperature regularly during the job, we ensure the paint’s adherence. Please note we also continue heating until the coat is completely dry.

You have an exterior painting project? FinDecor can help.

Call us now for a free estimation in the Greater Montreal. Our certified painters have numerous years of experience and they master the techniques to paint any type of substrate. The results will go beyond your expectations!

Dave Beaupre

Master Painter


[email protected]